Quieting the mind to focus on the important can be difficult. It's so easy to get caught up in what we "should be" doing, rather than focusing on what brings us joy and happiness. For example, some of the "should statements" that have popped into my mind lately include:
- I should get a "real job."
- I should do the taxes.
- I should do the laundry.
- I should be writing.
And the list goes on and on.
The "should" statements are noisy and annoying. So I've incorporated the following tips into my life. The actions have helped me quiet my noisy mind. I hope you find them useful.
1. Be present and enjoy the moment.
Enjoy the little things and don't worry about "I should" statements. For instance, I set a goal of making at least $25,000 this year from writing, web design and a few side projects. I know it's possible and I also know it's impossible to control the future.
Instead of trying to predict the future, be a rock star for at least 5 minutes a day and focus on the moment. Rather than trying to create the perfect future, you can create art that matters. A piece of art that can change a person's life for the better.
2. Practice walking meditation.
Walking is a form of active meditation. It's a beautiful way to calm the mind, be present and mindful of your experiences while you walk. Look at the trees, flowers, and people you pass. More importantly, don't forget to breathe.
3. Unplug from the internet.
You know what to do. Turn the internet off and focus on your thoughts. When the "should" statements get too overwhelming, write down all of the thoughts that pop into your mind. Getting the "should" statements onto paper will help clear your mind and move forward.
4. Do yoga.
A yoga teacher told me that "Yoga reveals what was once hidden. When life gets hard, we run away. And that's where yoga comes in handy. It forces you to examine what you're running from."
Yoga is powerful. It's one way you can take care of your body, that encompass both the physical and emotional. If you aren't practicing yoga, I'd encourage you to start. Even if you only have 10 to 15 minutes a day, it will make you feel better.